Featured Schools

    Claflin University
    Lake Erie College
    Lesley University
    Notre Dame College

Signup for email updates!

Email signup

Museum Technician Career

Career Description

Museum Technicians prepare specimens, such as fossils, skeletal parts, lace, and textiles, for museum collection and exhibits. May restore documents or install, arrange, and exhibit materials.

Common Work Tasks

  • Manage, care for, preserve, treat, and document works of art, artifacts, and specimens—work that may require substantial historical, scientific, and archaeological research
  • Use x rays, chemical testing, microscopes,  special lights, and other laboratory equipment and techniques to examine objects and determine their condition and the appropriate method for preserving them
  • Document findings and treat items to minimize their deterioration or to restore them to their original state
  • Specialize in a particular material or group of objects, such as documents and books, paintings, decorative arts, textiles,  metals, or architectural material
  • Participate in outreach programs, research topics in their area of specialty, and write articles for scholarly journals
  • Assist curators by performing various preparatory and maintenance tasks on museum items
  • Answer public inquiries and assist curators and outside scholars in using collections
  • Help archivists organize, maintain, and provide access to historical documentary materials

Other Job Titles

Museum technicians are also known by other titles,  including:

  • Archivists
  • Curators
  • Biographers
  • Conservator
  • Genealogists

Education,  Training, and Experience

Education and Training
 
Museum technicians usually need a bachelor’s degree in an appropriate discipline of the museum’s specialty, training in museum studies, or previous experience working in museums, particularly in the design of exhibits. Similarly, archives technicians usually need a bachelor’s degree in library science or history, or relevant work experience. Relatively few schools grant a bachelor’s degree in museum studies. More common are undergraduate minors or tracks of study that are part of an undergraduate degree in a related field, such as art history,  history, or archaeology. Students interested in further study may obtain a master’s degree in museum studies, offered in colleges and universities throughout the country. However, many employers feel that, while museum studies are helpful, a thorough knowledge of the museum’s specialty and museum work experience are more important.

Experience
     
Museum technicians need manual dexterity to build exhibits or restore objects. In addition, computer skills and the ability to work with electronic records and databases are very important. Because electronic records are becoming the prevalent form of recordkeeping, and museum technicians must create searchable databases, knowledge of Web technology is increasingly being required.

Salary

The median annual salary for a Museum Technician is $35,000. The top 10 percent earn more than $62,000, and the lowest 10 percent earn less than $21,000.  Median earnings in the industries employing the largest number of museum technicians are:

  • Museums, Historical Sites, and Similar Institutions - $35,630
  • Federal Executive Branch - $45,320
  • Local Government - $34,530
  • Colleges, Universities, and Professional Schools - $38,900
  • State Government - $40,520

Job Outlook

  • 2006-2016 Employment growth:  16%
  • Number of new jobs created 2006-2016: 1,700
  • Employment 2006 : 11,000
  • Employment 2016:  12,000
Ask An Expert: Real Questions, Expert Answers

Ask your Question